More ARMM investments seen in 2015
JANUARY 6, 2015, COTABATO CITY. About P1 billion or more worth of investments is expected to pour in the ARMM this 2015. These projects are into biomass power generation, mining, oil depot in Tawi-Tawi, and agriculture related projects such as banana, oil palm and buckweat plantations. These are fresh investments from foreign, local investors and existing firms in the region with expansion plans.
Lawyer, Ishak V. Mastura, Chairman of the Regional Board of Investments (RBOI-ARMM) is optimistic that the agency will meet its target in 2015 which is to register a total of P700 million worth of investments in the region.
Atty. Mastura further said that aside from the continuous effort of the national government to pursue peace and development in Mindanao through the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and the reforms in governance by the Hataman Administration, the ARMM also posses’ major advantages as an emerging investment destination.
“The region has about 500,000 hectares of available land potential for oil palm, coconut, corn, banana, rubber and other crops. It is also not affected by typhoons and floods which make it conducive for agri-investments”, Atty. Mastura said. However, as a cautionary note he said that investors to the region must get local reputable partners to mitigate investment risks and must see to it that there is social acceptability of their investment projects. He added that investors must do due diligence on land tenure or land ownership if they engage in plantation projects in order to avoid future problems regarding questionable land titles or land tenure.
“Since ARMM is home to a large Muslim population, it is being developed as the Halal Hub becoming the production and market based for Halal products and services not only in the country but also in the ASEAN. Infrastructure, logistics, telecommunications and other utilities are already present to support and sustain the growth of large industries in the region however, continuous improvements is a must” Chairman Mastura added.
In 2014, ARMM generated a total of P3.857 billion investment. Forty-six percent (46%) of these projects are invested in biomass renewable energy with total value of P1.773 billion. Thirty-one percent (31%) are projects in nickel mining amounting to P1.198 billion, while P740 million or 19% are agri-based projects. The remaining 4% are projects into petroleum product distribution and trading with combined value of P146 million. Out of these investments, 3,422 jobs were created.
Lamsan Power Corporation is the biggest investor in 2014 which built a P921 million biomass power plant at Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao followed by Al Mujahidun Agro Resources and Development, Inc. (AMARDI) investing in a P570 million, 500 hectare cavendish banana plantation in Ampatuan, Maguindanao. Third major investor is SR Languyan Mining Corp. which is into nickel ore mining and quarrying worth P520 million in Languyan, Tawi-Tawi.
ARMM Governor, Mujiv S. Hataman said that ARMM’s economy has accelerated from 1.1% in 2012 to 3.6 % in 2013 and is expected to increase in 2014. This means that ARMM is fast coping with the challenges of socio-economic development. This is a sign of an improving economy, a product of relentless reforms in governance and peace which is good for business. “Now is the opportune time to grow as the country’s brightest investment area as we transition from the present ARMM setup to the Bangsamoro government in 2015”, Governor Hataman added. (SOURCE: RBOI)